Atheism and Patriotism

I can’t comprehend the inanity of believing that citizenship in our liberty-loving country should be predicated on one’s beliefs. I wasn’t aware that being religious was a prerequisite for being an American, and I’m not quite sure how a belief in God, or lack thereof, is supposed to have a bearing on one’s political and ideological loyalty to their country.

But Bush Senior is hardly alone in this noxious perception – like many, if not most Americans, he seems to think that Godlessness is inherently immoral, and that virtues such as duty and self-sacrifice are alien concepts to nonbelievers. You simply can’t be a good person without God, and it’s too difficult for most people to reconcile the two.

Curiously, religious skepticism didn’t stop the core of  our Founding Fathers – Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, John Adams, and others – from establishing the same free and and democratic republic that atheists apparently don’t have any place in (especially when it comes to politics). It’s ironic that the Americans who most lionize and deify these men are often the same ones who are most shrill about the evils of atheism. Many of the founders of this nation would be considered unsuited for public office – the one they themselves created – because of nothing more than a lack of religious conviction.

As for Mr. Tillman, the patriot who shouldn’t technically exist:

In May 2002, eight months after the September 11 attacks and after completing the fifteen remaining games of the 2001 season which followed the attacks (at a salary of $512,000 per year), Tillman turned down a contract offer of $3.6 million over three years from the Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army.

If that’s not a model citizen and patriot, I don’t know what is.


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